Snohomish River Run 10K Race Recap

My feelings towards this race can only be described as bi-polar.  There were things I loved (about the race and my own performance) and things that left me disappointed...

I woke up to my husband accidentally smacking me in the face on Saturday morning, as I was blissfully sleeping through my 6AM alarm.  He was aiming for my shoulder, but it was too freaking dark to see anything.  My least favorite thing about this time of year is waking in the dark.  Blargh.  I was not psyched to roll out of bed into the pitch black and pouring rain.  But I pulled myself together, had a small banana and pumpkin muffin breakfast and got a call from Natty (my Oiselle teammate) who was supposed to come over and drive from my house to the race.  She was turned around and still VERY far from my house, so we decided that it would be faster for her to drive to the nearest race shuttle location and then I'd drive her back to her car afterwards.  I, thankfully, picked up my packet ahead of time and bought a parking pass close to the start. 

Once I arrived and parked (no one checked my 'pass' that I paid $10 for, btw), I had plenty of time to do a little warmup mile and wait for Natty.  And wait... AND wait...  Apparently, the high school designated as a shuttle pickup was having an event and race participants were directed to a parking lot a few blocks away.  This seems like something that should have been cleared up with the high school ahead of time.  I offered to pick up her packet and have it ready as she got off the bus, and was given a VERY hard time by the people working packet pickup.  Um, no, I didn't have her ID - we weren't anticipating the buses to be late!  After pleading my case, and being the stubborn girl I am, the woman gave me the packet and said "that's it, that's the last one we're handing out - pickup is closed."  Wow.  Luckily, they brought the packets back out when the late bus came in; but not the best attitude for a fun run - it ain't Boston, people! 

Post race with Natty

Once the bus did arrive I put her chip on her shoe while she pinned on her bib so that she'd have a chance to at least get to the port a potty, if not warm up.  And that was another inaugural race snafu - not enough bathrooms and looong lines.  But they delayed the start of the race by 15 minutes, which seems to happen in most races, so everyone was mostly good to go.  I also saw a number of friendly faces before the start: Jen and Rachelle, as well as Alma out on the course.

Pic blatantly stolen from Hiker Mom's speedy recap post
Less than ten minutes after the half marathon start, we were off for the 10K.  The course was basically two out and backs put together; the first out about 1.5 miles and back on a rural road with farmland, etc. around.  I'm sure it would be pretty on a nicer day; but on this day, it all just felt flat, dreary and boring.  By two miles in, it started messing with my head and I was feeling ready to be done.  As evidenced by my splits:

By the fourth mile we were on a trail along the Snohomish River and it was much more to my liking/less boring/prettier, but also less space to pass people.  I got caught behind a number of runners along this stretch and then ended up mirroring their pace because I just didn't have it in me to sprint past.  I'm kinda mad at myself that I didn't.  At least I was able to kick it back up to an 8:30ish pace for the finish and was SO glad to be done.  Final time: 54:24.

Yes, I met my goal time, which was to beat my 'pseudo' 10K time from last year: a 55:43 for running a 9.3K (it was a 10K race but a mistake was made in the course).  I certainly beat that time and very nearly met my other goal of knocking about a minute off my average pace from a year ago, going from a 9:40 to an 8:50 pace.  But, I know I'm capable of so much more.  Looking at my last race, where I ran 4 miles in 32:09, I could have tacked on two TEN MINUTE miles for a 52:xx 10K time!  Argh.  Damn injuries.  I have done very little speed work over the the last two months since that 4 miler, so as not to aggravate my testy hamstring - and it showed.  Just because it's less than half the distance doesn't mean it deserves less respect or training. In fact, I'll go so far as to declare the 10K my least favorite distance - no question.  It's one thing to push your hardest for a 5K when you can be DONE in 20-30 minutes.  It's a whole other can of worms to be pushing pretty hard for twice that time/distance.  Maybe one day I'll find a balance between the comfortably difficult rhythm of 13.1 and gut busting work of 3.1, but it's not high on my list right now.

The race finish was really quite nice, space blankets were handed out and I think this is my favorite race medal to date. 

I haven't run any of the marquee type races, so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but I like the simple and sturdy design.  They had some tents with heat lamps for us to huddle under from the rain and there was lots of the usual post race fare (bananas, bread, Luna Bar samples), as well as chips and salsa and HOT SOUP.  This was perfection.  Given the feedback on the race Facebook page, blogs, etc., I think/hope this trend might gain some traction for winter races.   

SOUP!  Natty also won the half marathon (first woman) in 1:24:59. Fast girl!

  At the end, the race organizers were very helpful and friendly, asking how things went and seemed genuinely interested in how we felt about everything.  They chatted with us about Oiselle and even gave Natty a mug when she asked if she could have one in addition to her other awards and they obliged, totally making up for any negativity I experienced at the beginning.  So, yeah, bi-polar feelings about the race: happy with a PR, disappointed with my time/happy with everything at the finsh/post-race touches, disappointed with the pre-race shuttles and organization. 

OH, I also have to add that I had my first experience with a complete stranger coming over to tell me that she loved my blog - not a teammate, twitter peep or family member!  Really!  So I have to give a shout out and thanks to Jessica for the huge ego boost :)  On to the next race, which will be.... The Mustache Dache!  I decided to go for a Schwaggle on this race, even though it's the weekend before the Seattle Half Marathon because it seems the entire Seattle running community is participating, it's another Saturday race (yay), looks super fun (food trucks! a mechanical bull! photo booth! beer garden!) and doesn't start until 10AM, ahhh.  Plus, they had representatives at the Snohomish race handing out mustaches, so I'm all set.  See you there?


  1. That is a weird packet situation. Glad you got them in the end. I've gotten more stubborn in situations like that as I've gotten older, because really how hard is it to just help someone out.

    Also, I still haven't figured out passing on trails yet. I'm always nervous that I won't be able to actually go faster once I pass people. Great job on your time!

  2. I was very bipolar about this race also. They will have to make some changes for me to consider it next year.

  3. As a spectator, I saw some things that they could work on, too. It does seem like the organizers want it to be a good race. You should be happy with the PR, girl! The weather was nasty. So sorry I missed you. I did see your teammate in line for the potties, though. Wow, she is fast.

  4. That looked like a very fun race. That's a great looking medal and congrats on improving your time. My brother will be running his first marathon this Sunday and I'll be out there to support him.

  5. Congrats on the 10K time! Smaller races can be so much fun, and the medal is definitely cool. I love the Rundelicious under the singlet, I bought it in case I need LS for CIM to wear like that.